Layered Beef Enchiladas

Sometimes it can really be tough to cook food for someone from their native country.  The flavors and texture have to be what they are used to, what they grew up with.  For a lot of people, food has so much meaning and can transport them back to their childhood, which for me personally, is my goal.  And I want to create those memories for my kids.  It does not, however, always work.  I thought this dish was good, maybe not the absolute best I’ve ever done (after all, it’s not salmon) but certainly good.  My littlest foodies thought it was too spicy.  The Hubs didn’t like it at all.  Wouldn’t even eat it.  He and the kids had quesadillas.  And I get it, he’s from Mexico and this was enchilada sauce from a can.  I’m sure, compared to home cooking, well, I’m sure there IS no comparison.  Suffice it to say, no memories were created and no one was transported back to their childhood.  And me? I’m now on the hunt for a quick, yet simple, enchilada sauce I can make and use during the week that will hold up to the memory.  Or will make some new ones.

Ingredients:

1 lb lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs Morton & Bassett Mexican Blend seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 (10 oz) cans preferred enchilada sauce
10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
Sour cream (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375.  In large nonstick skillet, brown ground beef, onions, and garlic until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.  Drain.  Add Mexican blend seasoning, salt, and pepper, mix well.  Remove from heat.

Pour 1 can enchilada sauce in bottom of ungreased 13×9 glass baking dish.  Arrange 5 tortillas in dish, overlapping slightly.  Spoon beef mixture evenly over tortillas, sprinkle with half of the cheese; top with remaining 5 tortillas.  Pour remaining can of enchilada sauce over top.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Serve with sour cream.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:   
Cabernet Franc
Chianti
Grenache
Merlot
Sangiovese
Zinfandel

Serves 6
Prep time: 20 minutes; Total time: 45 minutes

photo (5)*Derived from Pillsbury

Quesadilla Casserole

Meatless Monday brings us a wonderful casserole! What I loved about this dish: it came together so easily, filled the house with the most amazing smell as it cooked, and you serve it WITH the enchilada sauce; it’s not incorporated into the dish. This is great because my kids are just starting to really explore spicy foods and the enchilada sauce being IN the dish would have been a little overwhelming and the meal would have been a “Fail” (as Daniela has become so fond of saying). What I did not love about this dish: it cooks at 400 for 30 minutes. Turning an already warm day hot. But that is more a testament to my menu planning and nothing with the recipe itself. I cooked this in my cast iron pot and the edges were crusty. When the spoon hit that edge and I heard the crackle, I almost needed a moment! If you’re not in the meatless mood, you could easily add chicken, steak, or carnitas. Hey, you could make my carnitas in the slow cooker and then with the leftovers, make this one! Serving with a cool, crisp salad is the perfect accompaniment.

Before Cooking

Ingredients:

3 Tbs olive oil1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp minced garlic
1 (29 oz) can black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
5 white corn tortillas 
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup prepared enchilada sauce (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium skillet, heat oil to medium. Add onions, cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes more. Add 1 1/2 cups black beans and mash into a chunky paste. Stir in reserved liquid.

Spray a heavy oven proof skillet with cooking spray. In medium bowl combine corn, parsley, and remaining black beans. Place a tortilla in skillet and spread with 1/3 cup mashed black bean mixture. Top with 2/3 cup corn, bean mixture and 1/2 cup cheese. Press to compress layers. Repeat with remaining tortillas, mashed black beans, corn-bean mixture, and cheese.

Bake until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes. If needed to brown (I did not need this step), transfer to broiler a d cook for 1 minute. Serve with enchilada sauce (optional).

Serves 6

Prep time: 25 minutes, Bake time: 35 minutes

After Cooking

*Derived from Rachel Ray mag